Julen Lopetegui
Julen Lopetegui

ANTONIO CONTE has admitted there will be “no escape” for he and his squad if they fail to produce success at Chelsea this season.
The Italian has arrived at Stamford Bridge on a three year contract with the remit to get the club back into the Champions League and challenging for the title again, after the worst season in recent history last year.
Conte, who arrived with his squad in Los Angeles for the start of their USA tour on Sunday, has been working with his players for only ten days now, but has already been putting them through some intense sessions.
He said: “As the players and manager of a great club like Chelsea, the targets are very clear – you can’t escape.
“The targets are the same – to fight to win or to fight to the end to win. It’s also important that the fans see our passion.
“After a week, I am very happy because I have found a great atmosphere and a great attitude between the players. This is very, very important to have – we are working very hard.
“We need to transfer my idea of football and for this reason I need a bit of time. But I’m happy to have this great telepathy with the players because we are changing the work compared to the last seasons, in the physical and tactical aspect.
“I am very happy to have this experience, to be manager of a great club like Chelsea.
“It’s the right moment for me to be here, in a fantastic championship with a great atmosphere, great passion. I am at the right place, I feel this.”
Gradually, Conte’s full squad is finally coming together after his players involved in international football over the summer arrived – notable Belgians stars Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois, who have re-joined the squad for the US tour.
The Belgium pair missed the friendly matches in Austria last week after being given time off following playing in the European Championship. It is Conte’s first chance to work with Hazard, who provided four assists at the tournament in France, the joint-highest with Wales’ Aaron Ramsey, having claimed just three during the whole of last season.
Chelsea will do a double training session today in preparation for meeting Liverpool at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Wednesday. That is followed by friendlies against Real Madrid and AC Milan.
N’Golo Kante, the £32m midfield signing from Leicester, is one of two players yet to start pre-season training after helping France reach the Euro 2016 final. John Obi Mikel is preparing for the Olympics with Nigeria.


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